Roar Lions Roundtable: What Is Penn State's Biggest Trap Game?

By RLR Staff on October 21, 2020 at 9:00 am
Hoosiers running back Stevie Scott III (8) celebrates after scoring a touchdown during the game against Michigan at Memorial Stadium, Nov. 23, 2019. Iufbmichigan03
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It seems like the Nittany Lions always get tripped up in a trap game, with last year's loss to Minnesota being the latest example. Who is the plucky upstart Penn State needs to be wary of this season?


INDIANA

Can the season opener be a trap game? 3:30 at Indiana is a sentence straight out of a horror novel and man, am I terrified. Penn State needs to grow up quickly to escape Bloomington or else this season could go off the rails before the end of the month. - Matt Filipovits

There's a good case to be made for this being Penn State's third hardest game of the year. The Hoosiers have also giving PSU a hard time in recent meetings, with 2017 being the only one that wasn't a back and forth battle. This feels like a series where one of these close games is eventually going to fall Indiana's way, who knows when it'll happen though.  - Andrew Rubin

Penn State has played one-score games with Indiana the last two seasons. The Hoosiers are a well-coached team with a solid dual-threat quarterback in Michael Penix. If Penn State is looking ahead to Ohio State, they could get caught sleeping in Bloomington. Indiana isn't a team you can be asleep against this season. - Dylan Burd

Iowa is a good pick too, but the Hawkeyes are typically too good to be considered a trap game. A week one date with Michael Penix and the Hoosiers should prove a tricky task for the Lions, especially with the Buckeyes looming in week two. Given that this is the season opener, I don't expect a look-ahead to be the issue though, rather Indiana is just straight-up pesky. - Nick Polak

It's hard to call an opener a trap game, but with so much unknown, Penn State has to come out and establish an early identity on the season. I was torn between Indiana and Nebraska, but went here because it seems to always be an ugly game in Bloomington. - John Morgan

They're always a weird road opponent for this team. Now you're factoring in an extended and bizarre offseason, you've got new personnel, new coaches, and a new offense, and there were no non-conference games to prepare for Big Ten play. If ever there was a season that Indiana pulls off that upset they've flirted with in years' past, it feels like 2020 is the time. - Dan Smith

NEBRASKA

I don't think Scott Frost's squad is necessarily going to do big things this year, but it's never easy to win on the road in the Big Ten, and this game comes just ahead of a home date with Iowa and a visit to Michigan. The Hoosiers are dangerous, but it's hard for me to call the season opener against a team that's many think will be pretty good a trap. - Matt de Bear

Do I think Nebraska will be very good this year? No. Indiana is the popular pick here but the team has heard too much about Indiana to get "trapped" by the Hoosiers. With Adrian Martinez at quarterback, Nebraska could pull offensive magic out of their hat for just one game and give the Lions a fight. - Michael Stanley

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